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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Monday
Jan262015

Making a Case for Amillennialism in Sierra Vista, Arizona (Updated Again)

I am privileged to be the guest speaker for a conference on "Amillennialism" on this coming Friday and Saturday, January 23-24, 1015, at Grace Church (PCA) in Sierra Vista, AZ.  I'll also be preaching on Sunday, January 25.

If you live in the area (or know anyone who does, and who might be interested, here's the conference info: Grace Church, Amillennialism Conference

 

Monday
Jan262015

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (January 26-February 1)

Sunday Morning (February 1):  We return to our sermon series on 2 Peter and Jude.  This coming Lord's Day we will take up Peter's warning about false teachers and false prophets in 2 Peter 2:1-10a.  Our Lord's Day worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  I am continuing my series on the Canons of Dort, and this Lord's Day we are working our way through the Fifth Head of Doctrine (articles 6-7).  We will discuss the unpardonable sin.  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study (January 28)As we continue our series on Romans, we come to Romans 14 and Paul's discussion of Christian liberty.

The Academy (January 30):  The Academy resumes this Friday and we will return to our study of Michael Horton's The Christian Faith.  We will pick up where we left up previously--chapter eight, p. 278, and Michael's discussion of the Holy Trinity.

For more information and directions, check out the Christ Reformed website:  Christ Reformed Church

Monday
Jan262015

"Carry Me Out of Egypt" -- Genesis 47:13-31  

Here's the audio of Rev. Compton's sermon from Sunday (1/25/15)

Click Here

Sunday
Jan252015

This Week's White Horse Inn

Christ Our Eternal High Priest

This week on the White Horse Inn we begin part four of our series on the Book of Hebrews, focusing on chapters four through seven. We are joined once more by Dennis Johnson and Zach Keele. Dennis Johnson is Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Seminary California, and Zach Keele is the pastor of Escondido Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Join us this week as we discuss the nature of Christ’s priestly office. If the Old Testament has passed away, why do we need high priest? What does it mean for Christ to be the great high priest over the house of God? How is Christ’s work far greater than that of the Levitical priesthood? What benefit is there to understanding this final priesthood? How is Christ’s work for the church connected to the new covenant? Join us as we continue to look at the superiority of Christ’s priestly work from the Book of Hebrews on the White Horse Inn.

Click Here

Wednesday
Jan212015

A Christian Jihad? Self-Defense as a New Crusade?

What do you do if you are a Christian living in an area now overrun by ISIS (say in Lebanon, Syria, or Iraq)?

According to just war theory, and at least one traditional Christian view of self-defense, one option is joining a local militia of your countrymen (or your ethnic minority, as typical in that region), take up arms, and defend the lives of your family and neighbors.  ISIS constitutes a threat real and serious enough that this may be necessary, if fleeing the area is not possible.

But some Christians facing this threat are now calling for a distinctly "Christian" militia to wage a "holy" war on Islam as a means of self-defense.  A Christian Call for Jihad.  Here is a "rubber hits the road," situation, if I've ever seen one.

While I am more than willing to cut much slack to those whose very lives are endangered by ISIS Islamists, I cringe at the sentiments spelled out by the embattled leaders of those calling for a Christian Jihad, and a new crusade as a form of self-defense.

True love is never settled by compromise, but through bloodshed. Christ said,  “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13) And the Christian militias who have risen up to fight the torrent of the Islamic sword that seeks to destroy their friends, their brethren, these are the ones who exemplify this eternal passage in the purest fashion.

These Christians are part of The New Militia, or the militia that foreshadows The New Crusade that is to come, in which Christendom will revive and destroy the enemies of God and the haters of the Cross, and establish the holy light over the wretched shadow of Satan’s darkness.

The Christian militias in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and other lands inflicted by the violent inflictions of Islam, are truly pioneers that cause us to foresee the advent of the most holy Crusade, in which nations of mighty Christendom will revive themselves, pick up the Cross and with Christ as their General, destroy the armies of the Antichrist.

One of the fighters mentioned in the article states,

I want to say also that the first enemy of us, isn’t Islam, the first enemy for us is the weak Christians that do not have the courage enough to spread the Bible

The Creed of these "Christian fighters" is chilling

Awaken, holy Christendom!
Blossom with your beautiful pedals in the spring of the holy fray!
Take your inheritance, O holy Christendom,
From the pagans who stole it away!
Conquer with Cross and Sword!
Fight for Heaven and Your Lord!
Drive out the Muslim!
Drive out the Sodomite!
Drive the devils away with all your might!
With zeal we fight for God
And all the saints of holy martyrdom
For the blood of glorious martyrs
Awaken, O Christendom

Islamic efforts to restore the Caliphate, now give rise to a call for a counter-balancing Christendom, in which all enemies of General Jesus have been defeated.  "If they want their caliphate, we'll have our renewed Christendom."  Sadly, the argument has emotional legs given the fact that modern national borders (Syria, Iraq and Lebanon) were arbitrarily drawn by the victors after World War One.  The modern national boundaries which matter to us, are virtually meaningless to people whose historic ties and ideological roots go back to their ethnic communities, and to those two religious-political empires which for centuries waged war upon each other.  

No doubt, the problems here are deep and beyond an immediate solution, but calls for a restored Caliphate or a renewed Christendom, only guarantee continuing violence and bloodshed.

Very bad things often happen when people find themselves in dire straights--the threats these Christians face real and unlike anything I'll ever likely face.  But when a legitimate case for armed self-defense is transformed into a call for a "Holy War" and a "New Crusade," it is apparent that the two kingdoms have been hopelessly confused, and the situation illustrates that until NATO and/or the UN can restore the peace, the temptation to wage war and kill your enemies in the name of Jesus will surely continue.

Self-defense and protection of your neighbor is required in the face ISIS-led bloodshed.  But Jihad, "Holy War" and a restored Christendom have little to do with legitimate self-defense.

Tuesday
Jan202015

So, What Does Your Cat Really Think of You?

Several recent studies of the manner in which cats relate to humans (like purring and rubbing on our legs), confirms what some of us have suspected all along . . .  Cats manipulate us, and they really don't like us.

Your Cat Really Doesn't Like You

 

Tuesday
Jan202015

"My Father Is Still Working" -- John 5:1-18

The Sixteenth in a Series of Sermons on the Gospel of John

You would imagine that if someone who had been lame (and an invalid) for thirty-eight years was miraculously healed, there would be great rejoicing.  You might also imagine that the man who was healed, as well as those who witnessed the healing, would be praising God for his mercy and compassion.  Yet when Jesus heals such a man in Jerusalem, the man directs those persecuting Jesus (the Jewish religious leadership) where to find him, and says not a word in gratitude or thanksgiving for all that God had done.  And then those who witness their own Messiah healing the sick as a sign that the long-expected messianic age was now underway, accuse Jesus of being a law-breaker for healing this man on the Sabbath.  But such a sad state of affairs is what we find in our text.  Human sin is not only the root cause of all our sickness and suffering, but such sin blinds us to the grace of God and causes us to hold fast to our own humanly devised traditions and self-righteous judgments.  Here we begin to see what Jesus meant when he said people love darkness rather than light because our deeds are evil.

We are continuing our series on the Gospel of John and we have made our way as far as John 5.  The scene now shifts from Galilee back to Jerusalem when Jesus returns the city to celebrate a feast of the Jews.  Although Jesus was not truly honored by the Galileans while in Galilee (they did not truly understand who he was, nor what he came to do) nevertheless, they gladly welcomed back the miracle-worker who had created such a stir through his signs and wonders in Jerusalem and in Galilee.  Jesus was Israel’s Messiah who came to usher in a new age of salvation from the guilt and power of sin–the signs and wonders were proof.  But the Jews throughout Judea and Galilee, it seems, were not concerned with the question as to whether or not Jesus might be the long-expected Messiah.  As we have seen, to this point in John’s Gospel, the Jews do not seem very concerned with the reality that human sin was the reason for the diseases and demons which plagued them.  They cannot see beyond the effect to the cause.

As the knowledge of Jesus’ miracles spread throughout both the Galilee and Judea, so too did the size of the crowds who followed him, as well as the scrutiny of his ministry by the Jewish religious leadership.  This becomes clear as we look at the structure of these early chapters of John, where we see two important things beginning to emerge.  The first thing to notice is that Jesus performs signs and wonders to confirm his identity as Israel’s Messiah and the Son of God, who, as his miracles attest, is that one promised throughout the Old Testament.  Jesus does not perform signs and wonders to create faith or attract crowds–although, we have seen, large numbers of people begin following Jesus for all the wrong reasons.  The miracles confirm faith and the truth of the word our Lord preaches.  Yet, those who are in need seek Jesus because they are desperate, not because they care about Jesus’ true identity.

Although Jesus has performed many miracles which are not reported, John has recounted three of these miraculous signs so far, two in Galilee (Jesus turning water into wine in Cana, and Jesus healing the Galilean official’s son) and one in Jerusalem (when Jesus cleansed the temple).  In John 5, John recounts a fourth sign–the healing of a lame man in Jerusalem.  All told, there will be seven of these signs in John’s Gospel, symbolic of Jesus’ entire messianic mission and only representative of the large number of miracles which Jesus performed, and which John says cannot be counted.

To read the rest of this sermon:  Click Here

Monday
Jan192015

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (January 19-25)

Sunday Morning (January 25):  Rev. Andrew Compton will be preaching.  Our Lord's Day worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  Rev. Chris Coleman will be conducting our afternoon catechism service, which begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study (January 21, 2015)I am continuing my series "run through Romans" and we are working our way though Romans 12.

The Academy:  The Academy will resume on January 30, 2015, when we return to our study of Michael Horton's The Christian Faith.  We will pick up where we left up previously--chapter eight, p. 278, and Michael's discussion of the Holy Trinity.

For more information and directions, check out the Christ Reformed website:  Christ Reformed Church

 

Sunday
Jan182015

"The Prophetic Word" -- 2 Peter 1:12-21

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon:  Click Here

Sunday
Jan182015

This Week's White Horse Inn

Greater Than Moses

This week on the White Horse Inn we are continuing our study of the Book of Hebrews, focusing on chapters three and four. We are joined once more by Dennis Johnson and Zach Keele. Dennis Johnson is Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Seminary California, and Zach Keele is the pastor of Escondido Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Join us this week as we discuss the nature of new covenant religion and the status of those in Christ. Why does the author of Hebrews react so strongly to the idea of going back to old covenant practices? Why is the Mosaic covenant superseded now that Christ has come? On what basis should we reject old covenant worship as obsolete? While Moses was, in fact, the spokesperson for God, God himself has become the mediator of a new and better covenant that takes away the sin of the people. Join us as we continue to look at the superiority of Christ from the Book of Hebrews on the White Horse Inn.

Click Here